Seeds at the table

Contributors: Ioana Lupașcu & Yacinth Pos

Seeds at the Table is a meandering conversation between artists Ioana Lupașcu and Yacinth Pos, and seasonal workers at a place of arrival (the Netherlands) and a place of departure (Romania). The dialogue touches upon recipes from home, ways of cooking with weeds, cultural exchange, working conditions, and other personal stories. The project manifests itself in a dinner intervention, an audio-walk, and a publication that dives deeper into the process.

I am looking at her looking at them looking at me

Concept & text: Ioana Lupascu
Sound composition: Maoyi (Peixuan Qiu)
Translation and dutch voice: Hannah Kalverda

How long is the journey? A finished bathroom, a renovated home, a space to rest at old age or host the children when they visit. How long is the journey? 1000 euros, 5000 euros, a one story house that is a little bit taller than the neighbours. How long is the journey? A place to rest where your mental health, gender and belief are not a misfortune. How long is the journey? Until the children start school, or finish school, or are no longer sharing the house they grow up in. How long is the journey?
This audio walk - part fiction, part fact, part memories and abstractions - is set between Romania and the Netherlands, as well as the places the listener walks through as they listen to the three sonic chapters. I was interested in how stories of seasonal work abroad give shape to the landscape, the architecture, the habits, the food and the conversations in the village of my childhood summers. It might sound personal, it is definitely not uncommon.

Documentation of the research in the Netherlands and Romania was presented during the Seasonal Neighbours group exhibition in Z33. Next to a series of images was a bag containing almost a ton of soil, serving as an object of interaction with the earth, the top layers containing a mix of seeds of weeds, some already sprouting into shape. The visitor was invited to scoop a bit of soil and take it home with them. Also, a booklet was offered containing recipes with the weeds from the dinner intervention, and a QR code that linked to the audio walk.

You can also listen to the audio walk in Dutch here and in English here.

Biography Ioana Lupașcu 
  A very special thank you goes to my mom, Mihaela for sharing this journey and insights with me, as well as the friends, neighbours, strangers that shared their stories at the table with us in Țibucani and aboard. Yacinth Pos, I am deeply thankful for our inspiring collaboration!

Thank you Maoyi Qui for bringing the text to life with a playful soundscape; Hannah Kalverda for the nuanced translation to Dutch and Filp for production assistance. Shout out to Ciel for the continuous generosity and support; Ewoud, Ines, Marco, Marika, Max, Mona and Paula for reading, listening and responding to early drafts.

Made possible by a grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL.

Website updated in May 2024